There have been no definitive guidelines on the treatment method and specific points in the body.
The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of extracorporeal shockwave therapy on treating the main tendons and ligaments of knee osteoarthritis.
A total of 36 patients with knee osteoarthritis were enrolled in trial and organized into two groups: 3-wk extracorporeal shockwave therapy for the intervention group and 3-wk sham extracorporeal shockwave therapy for control group. Both groups received the same physical therapies: (1) transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, (2) magnetic field treatment, and (3) quadricep muscle strength training. Evaluation was performed before the start of treatment, at third week after the start of treatment, and 1 wk after the end of treatment. The study used randomized controlled trials (level of evidence, 1).
Eextracorporeal shockwave therapy group had significant improvement in WOMAC pain score, physical function, and total score (mean difference = -2.8, P < 0.001; -5.1, P = 0.02; -8.3, P = 0.004, respectively), Visual Analog Scale score (mean difference = -2.3, P < 0.001), and the distance of 6-min walk test (mean difference = 28.7, P = 0.01) in the 1 wk after the end of treatment. Statistical significance in WOMAC pain, physical function, and total scores (mean difference = -3.0, P = 0.001; -5.6, P = 0.02; -9.3, P = 0.004, respectively) and Visual Analog Scale score (mean difference = -1.2, P = 0.027) was observed between the extracorporeal shockwave therapy group and control group.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy for the tendons and ligaments has clinical benefits for pain and physical function improvement in knee osteoarthritis. In addition, improvement in physical performance was observed in the short-term follow-up.

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